Tyson Foods released its third quarter and nine months results, reporting increased earnings per share (EPS) and overall sales.

Third quarter 2010 EPS was $0.65 compared to $0.35 in 2009. Sales came to $7.4 billion, up 11.6% compared to last year. Chicken operating income was $186 million, or 7.4% of sales. "It was a fantastic quarter for Tyson Foods, with record earnings, sales and operating margin," said Tyson President and CEO Donnie Smith. "With more than $600 million in operating cash flow, we were able to pay down debt by $400 million while continuing to invest in our business, bringing our debt to its lowest level since 2001."


Chicken performed as normal, but the beef and pork segments were the true bright spots in the report. "The beef and pork segments posted phenomenal results with record return on sales," said Smith. Beef operating income was $176 million (5.6% of sales) and pork operating income came in at $125 million (10.0% of sales). Smith said he expects to finish 2010 "in a great position" which will "give us a strong start in 2011."